Science & Research:
Best Parenting Practices

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Author: Laine Lipsky, Masters in Teaching, Certified Parent Educator

Overview:

Best Parenting Practices

Best parenting practices are inclusive of the following:

  • Authoritative Parenting Style

  • Temperament Awareness

  • Self-Awareness

  • Mindfulness

What Are Best Parenting Practices?

In all professional realms the term “best practices” is commonplace. I feel it’s time to apply this concept to parenting. While there is not one “right way” to parent, the research is clear that a combination of specific parenting practices yields more positive outcomes, including personal and professional success over a child’s lifetime.

 

Parents cannot change the innate temperament of their child, but their parenting approach can shape their child’s personality and greatly impact their child’s potential for success and happiness in the short- and long-term.

Why Are Best Parenting Practices Important?

Every parent wants to do their best for their child and they want their child to reach their full potential in life. And yet, many parents find themselves unsure of how to achieve their heartfelt goals. Worse, parents often feel stuck in patterns they know are working against those goals but don’t know what else to do.

 

Parents often say, “there’s no roadmap for parenting.” While everyone must figure out their own path there actually is a roadmap for getting the outcomes we all want - healthy, happy kids and positive connections with them for life.​

Who Are The Leading Experts?

Authoritative Parenting Style - Diana Baumrind, PhD., Maccoby and Martin, PhD.

  • Baumrind’s “authoritative style” yields the most positive outcomes for children.

Temperament Awareness - Thomas and Chess, PhD.

  • Every person is born with a temperament that consists of 9 specific traits. 

Self-Awareness - Daniel Siegel, MD

  • Knowing oneself is essential to raising children with healthy connections.

Mindfulness - Jon Kabat-Zinn

  • An intentional approach to parenting helps families grow to full potential

What Research Proves Parenting Best Practices?

Substantial research has been performed for each of the elements I’ve identified as crucial for the best outcomes.

 

Here are publications to review:

Key Findings

  • Parenting style and children’s development are closely linked.

  • Parenting style can have lifelong impacts on a child’s development.

  • Temperament is a combination of innate traits. 

  • Temperament plus environment create one’s personality.

  • For healthy parent-child attachment, what matters most is if a parent makes sense of their own difficult experiences in early life.

  • Developing mindfulness as a parent increases connection, joy, and fulfillment.

  • Mindfulness improves concentration, happiness, and cognitive functioning.